A Weighty Issue for Feet

Avoid the Holiday pounds and don’t hibernate too much this winter!!

Ring in the New Year with a resolution to stay healthy otherwise you may have “a weighty issue for your feet”.

There’s an epidemic that’s brewing worldwide and it threatens the health of millions of people. It’s obesity… and it takes a toll on the feet that have to support all that extra weight.

People with a body mass index (BMI) in the range of 25 – 29.9 are considered to be overweight. Those with a BMI over 30 are considered to be obese. For most people, BMI is considered to be a reliable indicator of body fatness. BMI is calculated based on a person’s height and weight.

According to anecdotal (informal) evidence, twice as many patients suffer from serious foot problems as compared to 10 years ago.

According to a survey of patients with past or current foot and ankle pain, or those who have undergone previous foot surgery, a higher BMI or a weight gain prior to the onset of pain seemed to be a fairly consistent factor.

Many people worry about the way they look when they are overweight instead of focusing on the more critical aspects of their health, including the toll that their weight takes on the musculoskeletal system, which includes the ankles and feet. Think of all that additional pressure on your feet and ankles – especially when you walk or climb stairs!

How do excess weight and obesity affect your feet and ankles? Too much pressure on the foot may cause a weakness in the muscles that support the arch in the foot. This changes the way in which you walk, which changes your posture, which can lead to back problems, bone damage and osteoporosis.

Foot and ankle pain usually affect the weight-bearing parts of the feet, along with tendons and ligaments. Some of the more common foot conditions include posterior tibial tendonitis, which causes pain in the tendon that runs down the inside of the ankle and the foot.

Another common problem that is aggravated by weight is plantar fasciitis – heel pain caused by inflammation of the ligament that supports the arch.

Osteoarthritis of the ankle joint is another frequent problem caused by obesity.

And then there’s the fact that obese people find it hard to even reach their feet, so they can’t see if anything is amiss; they usually wear low-heeled shoes with very little support; and they rarely get any exercise because of their weight, which helps them to pack on more pounds!

If you are overweight, we can help design a specific plan that addresses the problems in your feet to help you to walk more easily and exercise more. And that’s a great start to 2012 and getting the load off your feet!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Lakes Foot & Ankle Associates!!!